Breaking the Curse of MultiTasking

We know from personal experience that multitasking is not only unproductive but unhealthy. Yet, little has been done in most organizations to develop new and more effective methods of management and communication. The McKinsey article below lays down an urgent call for leaders to reverse the harmful effects of multitasking by starting with a change in the corner office.

“For all the benefits of the information technology and communications revolution, it has a well-known dark side: the whole organization’s productivity can be affected by information overload, and no single person or group can address it in isolation. We tend to believe that by doing several things at the same time we can better handle the information rushing toward us and get more done. Unfortunately, current research indicates the opposite: multitasking unequivocally damages productivity.

Senior executives so badly need uninterrupted time to synthesize information from many different sources, reflect on its implications for the organization, apply judgment, make trade-offs, and arrive at good decisions. Since senior executives’ behavior sets the tone for the organization, they have a duty to set a better example. However, resetting the culture to healthier norms is a critical new responsibility for 21st-century executives. It requires a tremendous amount of self-discipline, and we can’t do it alone: in our teams and across the whole organization, we need to establish a set of norms that support a more productive way of working.” Source: Recovering from information overload – McKinsey Quarterly – Organization – Talent

There is a serious need to address this issue. Many leaders speak of wanting to change but few do without outside help to reverse deeply embedded beliefs in their culture. If you’d like to talk about your situation and the changes you’d like to make, call me or use the “Contact Us” tab to discuss your situation.

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